This incomparable anthology collects articles, interviews, fiction, and poetry from theOriginal Chicago Blues Annual,one of music history's most significant periodical blues publications. Founded and operated from 1989 to 1995 by African American musician and entrepreneur Lincoln T. Beauchamp Jr., OCBA gave voice to the blues community and often frankly addressed contentious issues within the blues such as race, identity, prejudice, wealth, gender, and inequity.
OCBA often expressed an explicitly black perspective, but its contributors were a mix of black and white, American and international. Likewise, although OCBA's roots and main focus were in Chicago, Beauchamp's vision for the publication (and his own activities as a blues performer and promoter) embraced an international dimension, reflecting a broad diversity of blues audiences and activities in locations as farflung as Iceland, Poland, France, Italy, and South Africa.
This volume includes key selections from OCBA's seven issues and features candid interviews with blues luminaries such as Koko Taylor, Eddie Boyd, Famoudou Don Moye, Big Daddy Kinsey, Lester Bowie, Junior Wells, Billy Boy Arnold, Herb Kent, Barry Dolins, and many more. Also featured are heartfelt memorials to bygone blues artists, insightful observations on the state of the blues in Chicago and beyond, and dozens of photographs of performers, promoters, and other participants in the worldwide blues scene.